Four Options for Your Student’s Room
You may be an empty nester or a semi empty nester. In either scenario, there’s a bedroom that is empty and void of your high school student. He or she is now at college and their room sits open and unused. It’s tempting to use this space for our own personal use, isn’t it? Here are some options to think through. There’s always pros and cons to whatever you decide but hopefully this will shed some light on the matter.
Convert the room altogether into a new space. This is common when a student has chosen a college across the country and rarely comes home. Maybe you see them only once a year. In that case, it’s safe to transform the space into a new space. The sky’s the limit as you can imagine– perhaps an office? home gym? or hobby room? In the organizing world, I often see families use extra rooms for an office. Paper can creep around the house and cause a lot of trouble. So containing it in one space and in one room often helps corral paper clutter.
Convert the room leaving a bed for the occasional visits. This is taking it about half way. You convert the room but leave some remains of their room because they visit often enough that they need a place to crash. I don’t really like this option but if this is your only option to make sense of the space go ahead. I’m an all or nothing kind of gal. In between and gray areas don’t jive well with my personality.
Don’t use the space. Leave the room as it is. You’ve lived without this space for 18 years, why change things now? Yes, clean out their things if they’ve moved out for good, but leave it as a bedroom with the same furniture and let guests or family members use it when needed.
Allow younger siblings to fight over the room. This happens very, very often. I did this with my older sister when my oldest sister left for college. We couldn’t wait to get our hands on her room. It did make things more complicated because when she came home on breaks and for the summers we’d have to move back around. It’s doable but not the easiest. Clothes and stuff gets mixed together and two rooms end up with more chaos. But, if it makes more sense to allow younger siblings to have more room, go ahead and do it.
What’s Not An Option
Whatever you do, don’t allow yourself to use their room as your personal storage unit. No room except a basement or attic is supposed to serve as your personal storage room. This is not a good idea in any situation. It allows you to accumulate and move clutter from other parts of the house into the room. That isn’t a solution. It’s just moving clutter around. So be careful to use it as your personal dumping ground or walk in closet.